Maple season in full swing
Thesap is finally running in the Eastern Townships and maple syrup producers have been busy, for the past week, making the world’s most delicious sweetener. “The sap was running just a little bit two weekends ago; then it stopped. It started up again last Tuesday (April 1st) and it’s been running ever since. On Sunday it was very good,” said Stanley Holmes, of Barnston West.
At Holmhurst, the Holmes farm, the sap first ran three weeks ago but the quality wasn’t there. “Often that happens at the beginning of the season, the sap has the ‘gout de l’ecorce’. We let that run to clean the tubing out and it went on the ground,” said Mr. Holmes.
Weather always has an effect on the syrup and this year is no exception. “The first syrup that we made was a little harder to filter, but it’s good now. The colour is a little darker but it has an awfully good flavor. Some of my neighbours also said that it has a lot of flavor,” said Mr. Holmes who recently shipped out one hundred cans to Fort St. John, British Colombia. “That was going to an old friend that I went to Coaticook High School with sixtyfive years ago. He gets some every year for himself and all his family.”
Mr. Holmes couldn’t remember the maple sea- son ever starting this late but his wife, Joanne, could remember it once starting in April. “We can read in my grandpa’s diary that bizarre weather was quite common. When he bought this farm in the spring of 1897, they were making syrup on May 1st. But the next year, 1898, they were all done by the end of March. We should really be ready for the season in February, just to be on the safe side.”
Seen here at the launch of the Memphremagog Hospital Foundation’s golf tournament are honorary president Carmand Normand, Foundation president Gilles Pouliot, organizing committee president Annie-Elizabeth Girard, and Dr. Benoit Grenier.